Apple Opens New App Store for Businesses

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One of the other Apple announcements of recent days is the opening of a new kind of App Store for corporate customers, allowing them access to a simple system for buying apps in bulk and distributing them among employees and devices.

The Volume Purchase store was announced a couple of weeks ago, but finally went live yesterday alongside the launch of the Lion OS and various bits of new hardware.

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So now, if you’re in charge of IT in any organization, you can sign up for a special Apple ID. It has to have a unique email address assigned to it, but you’re the IT guy, right? You can set one up.

Logged in with your ID, you’ll see a different view of the App Store. One that lets you find apps, then say exactly how many copies of each one you want to buy. There are no discounts for bulk: If an app costs $2.99, that’s what you’ll pay for each and every copy.

That’s good news for the developers, who rely on getting their cut from every sale. And it’s good news for Apple, who get a fair bit from their cut, too.

Another aspect to the business store is custom B2B apps designed for selling between businesses. Companies can now commission developers to make bespoke apps, then ask their partners to download via the Volume Purchase store. It’s still possible to make apps for in-house use without having to use the store, too.

If you wanted proof that Apple was making serious inroads into corporate computing, this is it. It’s been via iPhones, and particularly iPads, that business types have discovered Apple products they can fall in love with.

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